I recently started work and so have had to revive the idea of packed lunches. While people around me are whipping out ‘dhabbas’ filled with piping hot daal, idlis, and sambar, I personally can’t bear the thought of eating these kinds of foods in this climate. I much rather stick to foods like salad. Before you call me Bugs Bunny, I’d like to refute the negative connotation which the term ‘salad’ carries. While the base of any salad tends to be vegetables, that’s only the starting point. There are billions of ways to jazz up both the flavor and appeal of salads. When it comes to choosing ingredients, the sky’s the limit. Chuck in whatever takes your fancy (provided it’s not deep fried or drenched in oil) and you’ve got yourself a work of art. I concocted this salad today for lunch and it will no doubt be repeated:
Potato salad with barbeque prawns
Once you have boiled and cooled the potatoes, cut them into bite-sized pieces. Mix the potatoes with low fat natural yogurt, chopped spring onions, 1-2 teaspoons of mustard (any will do but I prefer Dijon), salt and black pepper. After marinating the prawns in barbeque sauce for an hour or so, pan fry them and then add it to the potato mixture.
As for the vegetables, I added chopped cucumbers, grated carrots, broccoli and red peppers. Before adding the broccoli and peppers, I pan-fried them with the prawns and finely chopped white onions, and then added some Cajun seasoning.
If, for any reason, you find it lacks flavor, squeeze some lemon juice on top.
Quinoa & Avocado Salad
- 100g quinoa, rinsed very well
- 1.5 cups water (enough to cover the quinoa)
- 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 stock cube (chicken or vegetable flavored)
Cooking the quinoa:
1. To cook the quinoa, heat a pot with spray oil over medium heat.
2. Stir fry the garlic for a few minutes until brown, and then add rinsed quinoa and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
3. Add the water & stock cube and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook covered for 15-18 minutes.
4. Fluff up the quinoa. Cover and refrigerate it.
- 1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
- 2 medium-large tomatoes, finely chopped
- 1 cup of sweetcorn
- 1 large red pepper, finely diced
- 1 medium carrot, grated
- 1/2 cup scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced (reserve a few slices for garnish)
Honey mustard dressing:
- 3 tablespoons of honey
- 3 tablespoons of Dijon mustard (any will do)
- 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
Making the salad:
- Combine all of the vegetables in a large bowl.
- Add the quinoa and mix well.
- Whisk the dressing ingredients together and pour over the salad. Mix well and refrigerate until chilled.
*If you want to make it look pretty: garnish the salad with avocado slices and serve it on a bed of lettuce with a border of finely sliced beetroot
- Pomegranate seeds
- Your favourite kind of lettuce
- Cherry tomatoes
- Yellow peppers
- Vinegar (I used garlic vinegar, but both balsamic and white vinegar would taste great)
Once you have thinly sliced the peppers and courgettes, pan fry them until both sides are golden brown. Alternatively, you can grill them in the oven for 5-10 minutes. Once ready, put in the freezer for 10 minutes, or until cooled. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and slice the cucumbers. Once everything’s ready, toss it all together with vinegar and prepare to be refreshed with each bite.